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Jan Halák
Palacky University
  1. Body Schema Dynamics in Merleau-Ponty.Jan Halák - 2021 - In Yochai Ataria, Shogo Tanaka & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Body Schema and Body Image: New Directions. pp. 33-51.
    This chapter presents an account of Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of the body schema as an operative intentionality that is not only opposed to, but also complexly intermingled with, the representation-like grasp of the world and one’s own body, or the body image. The chapter reconstructs Merleau-Ponty’s position primarily based on his preparatory notes for his 1953 lecture ‘The Sensible World and the World of Expression’. Here, Merleau-Ponty elaborates his earlier efforts to show that the body schema is a perceptual ground against (...)
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  2. Embodied Higher Cognition: Insights From Merleau-Ponty’s Interpretation of Motor Intentionality.Jan Halák - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-29.
    This paper clarifies Merleau-Ponty’s original account of “higher-order” cognition as fundamentally embodied and enacted. Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy inspired theories that deemphasize overlaps between conceptual knowledge and motor intentionality or, on the contrary, focus exclusively on abstract thought. In contrast, this paper explores the link between Merleau-Ponty’s account of motor intentionality and his interpretations of our capacity to understand and interact productively with cultural symbolic systems. I develop my interpretation based on Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of two neuropathological modifications of motor intentionality, the case (...)
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  3. The Concept of ‘Body Schema’ in Merleau-Ponty’s Account of Embodied Subjectivity.Jan Halák - 2018 - In Bernard Andrieu, Jim Parry, Alessandro Porrovecchio & Olivier Sirost (eds.), Body Ecology and Emersive Leisure. Londýn, Velká Británie: Routledge. pp. 37-50.
    In his 1953 lectures at the College de France, Merleau-Ponty dedicated much effort to further developing his idea of embodied subject and interpreted fresh sources that he did not use in Phenomenology of Perception. Notably, he studied more in depth the neurological notion of "body schema". According to Merleau-Ponty, the body schema is a practical diagram of our relationships to the world, an action-based norm with reference to which things make sense. Merleau-Ponty more precisely tried to describe the fundamentally dynamic (...)
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  4. How to Understand the Body with the Body. Phenomenological Contribution to Overcoming the Limits of Mechanistic Paradigm in Physiotherapy.Petr Kříž & Jan Halák - 2022 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 44 (1):3-35.
    [In Czech] This article aims to explain how Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological account of embodiment contributes to the theory and practice of physiotherapy. The mechanistic conception of the body, to which physiotherapy usually refers, assumes a universal model of its functioning and interprets its relationship to the environment causally. In fact, however, it does not allow a satisfactory explanation of the efficiency of the therapeutic methods used in practice. In contrast, Merleau-Ponty’s concept of motor intentionality points to the fact that the body (...)
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  5.  74
    Gesturing in Language: Merleau-Ponty and Mukařovský at the Phenomenological Limits of Structuralism.Jan Halák - forthcoming - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology:1-25.
    This study aims to corroborate Merleau-Ponty’s interpretations of fundamental ideas from Saussure’s linguistics by linking them to works that were independently elaborated by Jan Mukařovský, Czech structuralist aesthetician and literary theorist. I provide a comparative analysis of the two authors’ theories of language and their interpretations of thought as fundamentally determined by language. On this basis, I investigate how they conceive linguistic innovation and its translation into changes in the constituted language and other social codes and institutions. I explain how (...)
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  6. The Institution of Life in Gehlen and Merleau-Ponty: Searching for the Common Ground for the Anthropological Difference.Jan Halák & Jiří Klouda - 2018 - Human Studies 41 (3):371-394.
    The goal of our article is to review the widespread anthropological figure, according to which we can achieve a better understanding of humans by contrasting them with animals. This originally Herderian approach was elaborated by Arnold Gehlen, who characterized humans as “deficient beings” who become complete through culture. According to Gehlen, humans, who are insufficiently equipped by instincts, indirectly stabilize their existence by creating institutions, i.e., complexes of habitual actions. On the other hand, Maurice Merleau-Ponty shows that corporeal relationship to (...)
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  7. Phenomenology is Not Phenomenalism. Is There Such a Thing as Phenomenology of Sport?Jan Halák, Ivo Jirásek & Mark Stephen Nesti - 2014 - Acta Gymnica 44 (2):117-129.
    Background: The application of the philosophical mode of investigation called “phenomenology” in the context of sport. Objective: The goal is to show how and why the phenomenological method is very often misused in the sportrelated research. Methods: Interpretation of the key texts, explanation of their meaning. Results: The confrontation of concrete sport-related texts with the original meaning of the key phenomenological notions shows mainly three types of misuse – the confusion of phenomenology with immediacy, with an epistemologically subjectivist stance (phenomenalism), (...)
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  8. Beyond Things: The Ontological Importance of Play According to Eugen Fink.Jan Halák - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43 (2):199-214.
    Eugen Fink’s interpretation of play is virtually absent in the current philosophy of sport, despite the fact that it is rich in original descriptions of the structure of play. This might be due to Fink’s decision not to merely describe play, but to employ its analysis in the course of an elucidation of the ontological problem of the world as totality. On the other hand, this approach can enable us to properly evaluate the true existential and/or ontological value of play. (...)
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  9.  21
    Learning as Differentiation of Experiential Schemas.Jan Halák - 2019 - In Jim Parry & Pete Allison (eds.), Experiential Learning and Outdoor Education: Traditions of practice and philosophical perspectives. London: Routledge. pp. 52-70.
    The goal of this chapter is to provide an interpretation of experiential learning that fully detaches itself from the epistemological presuppositions of empiricist and intellectualist accounts of learning. I first introduce the concept of schema as understood by Kant and I explain how it is related to the problems implied by the empiricist and intellectualist frameworks. I then interpret David Kolb’s theory of learning that is based on the concept of learning cycle and represents an attempt to overcome the corresponding (...)
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  10. Merleau-Ponty on Embodied Subjectivity From the Perspective of Subject-Object Circularity.Jan Halák - 2016 - Acta Universtitatis Carolinae Kinanthropologica 52 (2):26-40.
    The phenomenological point of view of the body is usually appreciated for having introduced the notion of the ‘lived’ body. We cannot merely analyze and explain the body as one of the elements of the world of objects. We must also describe it, for example, as the center of our perspective on the world, the place where our sensing is ‘localized’, the agens which directly executes our intentions. However, in Husserl, the idea of the body as lived primarily complements his (...)
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  11.  60
    La parole opérante comme spécification de l'intentionnalité motrice chez Merleau-Ponty.Jan Halák - 2021 - Studia Universitatis Babeş-Bolyai Philosophia 66 (2 supplement):107-119.
    [In French] This paper outlines Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of higher-order cognition as a fundamentally embodied process that is enacted by motor subject situated in natural and cultural environment. More specifically, I exemplify Merleau-Ponty’s interdisciplinary approach to cognition on his interpretations of motor intentionality, operative speech, and mathematical reasoning, which are based on neuropathology, linguistics, and gestalt psychology, respectively. In this analysis, I aim to show that the body is involved in cognition as an operator of the phenomenal structuration of the environment (...)
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  12.  65
    Revisiting Husserl’s Concept of Leib Using Merleau‐Ponty’s Ontology.Jan Halák - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):309-341.
    This article reconsiders Husserl’s concept of Leib in light of Merleau‐Ponty’s interpretation of the human body as an ontologically significant phenomenon. I first analyze Husserl’s account of the body as a “two‐fold unity” and demonstrate the problematic nature of its four implications, namely, the ambiguous ontological status of the body as subject‐object, the view of “my body” as “my object,” the preconstitutive character of the unity of the body, and the restriction of the constitution of the body to touch alone. (...)
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  13.  24
    Mathematics Embodied: Merleau-Ponty on Geometry and Algebra as Fields of Motor Enaction.Jan Halák - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    This paper aims to clarify Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to an embodied-enactive account of mathematical cognition. I first identify the main points of interest in the current discussions of embodied higher cognition and explain how they relate to Merleau-Ponty and his sources, in particular Husserl’s late works. Subsequently, I explain these convergences in greater detail by more specifically discussing the domains of geometry and algebra and by clarifying the role of gestalt psychology in Merleau-Ponty’s account. Beyond that, I explain how, for Merleau-Ponty, (...)
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  14. Institution as the Model of Meaning: Gehlen and Merleau-Ponty on the Question of Anthropology.Jiří Klouda & Jan Halák - 2018 - Filosoficky Casopis 66 (6):869-888.
    [This paper is written in Czech language.] The aim of the article is to re-evaluate the still-surviving anthropological trope which, in reaction to an inquiry into the essence of man, compares humans with animals and points to culture as the means by which humans complete their “deficient” nature. This motif contrasting humans with animals has been extended by A. Gehlen who characterises humans as “beings of deficiencies”. In his view, the morphological-instinctive insufficiency of the human being must be stabilised by (...)
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  15. Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the body as a field of structuralisation and its ontological significance.Jan Halák - 2015 - Filosoficky Casopis 63 (2):175-196.
    [In Czech] Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of the pathology of perception show “objective” and “subjective” events have sense for the living body only in relation to its whole equilibrium, that is, to how it organises itself overall and how it thus “meets” those events. If we apply this conception to Husserl’s example of two mutually-touching hands of one body we must then state not that we perceive here a coincidence of certain subjective sensations with certain objective qualities, but rather that my body, (...)
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  16. "Perception Is Already Expression." Merleau-Ponty's First Collège de France Lectures.Jan Halák - 2017 - Reflexe: Filosoficky Casopis 1 (52):111-135.
    In his initial lecture course at the Collège de France, Merleau-Ponty attempted to develop a new analysis of rational thought in order to clarify its link with corporeal-perceptive life. The formulation of thought in language as the most elaborate human activity of expression explicitly takes over what we already observe in perception as the implicit and mutual reference between the perceiving subject and that which is perceived.The article reconstructs Merleau-Ponty’s argumentation, based on his preparatory notes for the lectures, and provides (...)
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  17. Merleau-Ponty’s ontological interpretation of Husserl’s conception of the body as a “double unity”.Jan Halák - 2014 - Filosoficky Casopis 62 (3):339-354.
    [In Czech] Merleau-Ponty holds that Husserl’s descriptions of the body go beyond the conceptual framework of subject-object ontology to which his philosophy is usually thought to conform. Merleau-Ponty says of his own philosophy that it is founded on the circularity in the body; that is, on the fact that from the ontological point of view, perception and availability to be perceived, are one and the same in the body. The inseparability of these two aspects of the body he calls "flesh" (...)
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  18. Towards the World: Eugen Fink on the Cosmological Value of Play.Jan Halák - 2015 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (4):401-412.
    According to Eugen Fink, a thorough elucidation of the meaning of play has the capacity to lead us towards an understanding of the world as a totality. In order to go beyond Plato’s understanding of play as an inferior copy of serious action, Fink provides an analysis of the cultic game. This form of playing cannot be said to be the origin of all play, but it enables us to demonstrate how the act of playing transcends circumscribed beings inside the (...)
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  19. Le mouvement ou la chair: deux conceptions de la profondeur ontologique selon Patočka et Merleau-Ponty.Jan Halak - 2013 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 5 (1):83-104.
    [In French]Both Patočka and Merleau-Ponty conceive the world not just as an Object, but rather as a field of an irreducible phenomenal and ontological depth. Patočka’s concept of movement and Merleau-Ponty’s concept of flesh are two concrete figures of this depth, and as such they are understood by the respective authors as that what stands at the origin of every singular being so far as it detaches itself on the ground of the world as an open totality. Nevertheless, the position (...)
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  20.  37
    Visibility as the originating presence.Jan Halák - 2012 - Filosoficky Casopis 60 (5):667-684.
    [In Czech] In his writings at the end of the fifties, Merleau-Ponty introduced a new semantic and expressional circuit with the concept of “visibility”, a variation on the concept of “flesh” (chair). The aim of this article is to show that a consistent interpretation of this circuit necessarily leads us to a consideration of the concept of visibility as a systematically privileged viewpoint for the interpretation of all Merleau-Ponty’s more particular discussions. The concept of visibility, or flesh, summarises Merleau-Ponty’s thesis (...)
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  21. Book Review. [REVIEW]Jan Halak - 2008 - Reflexe: Filosoficky Casopis 34:133-139.
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